China is not exactly known for its eco-conscious ethos. In fact, it’s one of the world’s biggest polluters, with limited environmental regulation stopping the flow of toxins into the environment. Even the regulations that do exist are often ignored by large companies – some 70 percent of businesses examined by environmental inspectors failed to meet environmental standards for controlling air pollution, according to a state news agency report.
Now, according to the Chinese Ministry of Health, industrial pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death. Every year, ambient air pollution alone kills hundreds of thousands of citizens, and 500 million people in the nation are without safe and clean drinking water.
But as it turns out, the country is trying to reverse its massive carbon footprint. Earlier this year, China broke ground on a 40,000-tree-filled Forest City, a futuristic metropolis that will use renewable energy for self-sufficiency and be blanketed in almost 1 million plants, which will be capable of absorbing nearly 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of pollutants a year. Ambitious as that was, China is taking this concept even further – this week, the country announced plans to plan a total of 285 such eco-cities.
By Tessa Love